NUS wants postgraduate apprenticeships

The National Union of Students (NUS) has called for the Scottish Government to introduce a postgraduate apprenticeship scheme in a bid to combat post-university unemployment.

It says that, although the unemployment rate is lower among people with degrees in general terms, people often take jobs that are not in line with their qualifications and the Scottish Government should therefore take steps to help them.

The union describes it as a form of under-employment that leads to demoralisation among young people and it believes a postgraduate apprenticeship programme could combine job sharing and study that is relevant to both employers and employees themselves.

"The role for the Government in promoting postgraduate apprenticeships would be threefold," the NUS said.

"Firstly, to provide funding for the postgraduate fee support and living cost loans; secondly, to help link graduate employees to postgraduate study of relevance to them and their employer, and thirdly to act as a catalyst to encourage employers to offer job-share opportunities for graduate level jobs."

The union is also worried that graduates struggle to find future employment opportunities because they have little relevant experience in their field of study and the body's president, Robin Parker, has given evidence at an under-employment inquiry at Holyrood's Economy Committee this week.

The problem of people working fewer hours than they would like and not being able to fully utilise their skills in their job is being looked into and the NUS also thinks that Government procurement processes, paid internships and funding for business start-ups may help or be improved upon in the months to come.

While apprenticeship opportunities are often open to school leavers in the UK, those who have degrees to their name can sometimes struggle to find suitable openings in the jobs market which are directly aimed towards them.

Copyright Press Association 2013